The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

August/September 2006 Humor Contest Winner
Best Short Humor!

Skinny Dipping


Mike Ingles

He loved her; she could tell; a woman can always tell. It's in the eyes and they way they hold themselves. If he is slouched and trying to be nonconforming, if his eyes are sharp and always studying. Then she knows. She knows.

She loved him. Men can always tell. It's like hooking a bass was a slip shot and a rubber worm. The fish will pass the bait several times and nudge it with its tail. The temptation is alive, it must be acted on; the fish must take the bait.

They met on a blind date at Harridans Pub. She knew at the first instance. He decided to fish awhile.

"Hi", he said, while holding a Heineken in his limp hand.

"Hello," she said with a southern accent. Her eyes circled the room and then obstinately back to him.

"The table is ready." He paused, "it is quiet here tonight. The place is usually packed, but I guess it's a Thursday night and all." There was no waitress to seat them, he showed her to the table. They sat across from one another. A candle blocked their view; he moved it with an unsteady hand.

"Do you like to fish?" It was a question that he had wished he could blow back into his mouth.

"No." She was irreverent, "I always choose the underdog, I am afraid I root for the worm."

"That sounds a bit Freudian." He was smiling. He had just scored the first witty point, but the game was yet to be played.

"You're not going to play that game are you?"

"What game?"

"You know the game." She sighed deeply. "The game, where the man tries to make as many sexual innuendoes as he can within an hour, hoping she is horny enough to take the bait."

He fell into a placid shock. Words failed him. For the first time tonight, his shoulders did not slouch. His head stood straight upon his neck. He swallowed, and his adams apple bulged. His watery eyes lost focus, but just for a second.

"Here is the deal. I have taken some time to write down what should be discussed on a first date." She opened a notebook. A long blond curl struck the corner of her mouth and glued to the lipstick. "You will see the questions are on the left written in black. My answers are in the middle written in red. The space on the right is for you to answer the same questions. Here is a green pen. Good luck, I am going to the bathroom. You have ten minutes to finish." She left him sitting there with his mouth slightly parted. He wanted to say, but wait. She had already gone.

Question:  Where do you work?
Red Answer:  School Teacher.
Question:  What are your hobbies and interest?
Red Answer:  I am learning to fly. I enjoy poetry. When in the mood I like to skinny dip.
Question:  Do you want children?
Red Answer:  I would love to have children, but only when I am financially ready. I expect to have children around the age of thirty–one.

There were only three questions. But they were all inclusive. From these few words he knew more about her than he could have found out in a two–hour dinner, and they hadn't even ordered yet. For some unknown reason, he felt as though she could be the one. He read the questions and answers again, and reasoned through them. She was a teacher, good job, steady, great benefits and good retirement. Her interests were not at all his, but they demonstrated a sense of freedom, with flying and skinny–dipping. But the poetry also showed she had her quieter times, and suggested a romantic lady. What about the children question? He was twenty–eight years old, and not one of the girls he had dated had ever mentioned children. She was down to earth and a woman who knew what she wanted.

Question:  Where do you work?
Green Answer:  I am an engineer for Honda Motor Company.
Question:  What are you hobbies and interest?
Green Answer:  I enjoy skiing in the winter. Working with wood in my garage, and I want to someday to go skinny–dipping.
Question:  Do you want children?
Green Answer:  Only if I can find the right woman to share my life.

He misspelled skiing, but I corrected it.

She bounced back to the table; the hair had escaped her mouth. He did not rise to meet her as a gentleman should and she took note. She sat and waited for him to pass the notebook to her.

"Can you tell me," he paused with a grin. "If this is pass or fail, or are you grading on a curve?" He passed the book and touched her hand.

She was impressed. He had not left her as so many of the other young men had done in the past. It demonstrated a sense of confidence. She admired that. She read the small lines he had put to his hand in just a few seconds. Skiing showed a sense of adventure. Woodworking showed a down to earth quality, a sense of stability. And she noted his garage; he must be a homeowner! Finally skinny–dipping. This was the car de grace. He does, after all have a sense of humor. It is not just a game of word sex. She was enthralled with each and every answer.

"Well teach did I pass?"

"Maybe, but that was just the first part of the exam."

"What must I do to get a passing grade?"

"Would you like to go skinny–dipping? She said it and the first blush surrounded her lovely face.

"No", he said "It's too cold, but would you like to see my garage?"

"Let's go." She smiled. "Perhaps we can build something."

©2006, Mike Ingles

Mike Ingles, is a freelance writer living in Ohio. He has a degree in American Literature from Franklin University. His stories have appeared in several magazines including the Southern Cross Review, Slow Trains and The Pedestal Magazine. The anthology, Laughing and Learning, featuring his story, "Dog Days" is published by Grace Abraham Publishing.

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